The Acer Iconia Tab 8W is a tablet with an 8 inch display, a quad-core Intel Atom Bay Trail processor and Windows 8.1 software. It’s expected to hit the streets in November, and the most remarkable thing about the tablet is its price: The Iconia Tab 8W will sell for just $150.

While the Acer Iconia Tab 8W isn’t available for purchase yet, it did show up at the FCC this week, giving us a good look at the tablet… and what lies under the hood.

8w_07

The Iconia Tab 8W features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an Intel Atom Z3735G processor.

Acer says the tablet should get up to 8 hours of run time, and photos at the FCC show a few different batteries, but it looks like you should expect a roughly 17Wh battery.

Other pictures show the WiFi and Bluetooth module, embedded flash storage, and the Intel Atom processor. As with most small Windows tablets, there’s no easy way to upgrade the RAM or storage, but you can add removable storage thanks to the microSD card reader.

Acer’s new tablet won’t be the cheapest Windows tablet around when it launches in November. Toshiba already offers a 7 inch Windows tablet for just $120. But Acer’s tablet will have a larger, higher resolution display than the Toshiba Encore Mini.

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22 replies on “Acer’s $150 Iconia Tab 8W Windows tablet hits the FCC”

  1. Just me, or does the picture make it appear to come with two different AC charging adapters? Looks strange.

  2. Does anyone have a strong preference for a windows tablet (over an Android or ipad)? I totally understand the loyalty to Android and ipad, just not windows.

    1. It all depends what you want to do… and how powerful the device really is…

      For example, with a device with enough performance you can simply dock it and then use it as you would a normally larger device like laptop or even basic desktop…

      While a full desktop OS does have more innate capabilities and features than a mobile OS… like you will usually find a much better file manager/viewer that you can probably use without needing to install a app first, among many other things that a desktop OS does better…

      The main problem with a Windows tablet is legacy apps don’t work well on a tablet and the WinRT/Metro/Modern UI apps are still too immature and few to provide a competitive app ecosystem on their own but you’d have to rely on them mostly when using these small tablets…

      So, a lot depends on usage cases and how you’ll use the device mostly…

      It does help if the tablet has a active digitizer pen, as that allows easier use of the legacy desktop by providing additional accuracy needed to work on smaller screens that the desktop wasn’t really designed for and they have improved things a little with limited build in scalability functions but the developers themselves need to update most of the desktop apps to properly support smaller screens, especially at higher resolutions that only make everything look even smaller…

      On the flip side, neither Android or iOS provide much in the way of productivity apps, though you generally won’t use a tablet for productivity but some people would like the option to, in case they needed to on the go and/or unexpected emergencies…

      While, keep in mind that despite how much the mobile market has grown that the PC market still represents the majority and Windows still accounts for well over 80% of that market…

      So, while they’re unlikely to be a big player in the tablet space any time soon… it’s not like there’s no market for them either…

    2. If you use a lot of legacy Windows-only applications, it would make sense to buy a Windows 8 tablet, so you could use them wherever you go.

      1. Of course very few are touch-enabled or even touch-optimized, so using them without a keyboard and mouse is impractical. Just trying to work a scrollbar can be a nightmare. I think this “advantage” is a red herring.

        1. Thus why a active digitizer is desirable… it easily replaces the functionality of a mouse and provides the precision needed to interact with the desktop on small screens…

          It’s mainly just touch is too imprecise/vague but it’s not the only means to interact with a tablet…

          While, you could also simply dock a tablet and then use it as either a laptop or desktop as then you would have a keyboard and mouse/touch pad…

          Options like the Asus T100 and Acer Aspire Switch even come with a keyboard dock by default… Though, many of these cheaper and smaller tablets won’t…

          Alternatively, a simple USB 3.0 port is all you need to connect a desktop docking station and these devices can run both the tablet screen and an external monitor at the same time with either mirrored or extended screen setups, even at different resolutions… Mind, W8 natively supports having the taskbar on multiple screens without needing any 3rd party add-ons… and you can still opt to use the touch screen or stick to just the docked peripherals…

    3. I can see a windows tablet with enough ram and hdmi out being popular with some users since you can also use it as a desktop with the right setup.

      1. I was thinking the same thing a year ago. I don’t think that phones or tablets will be powerful enough for a good desktop experience (unless you pay $1000 for a Surface Pro tablet). I tried connecting my Nexus 7 to my monitor, keyboard and mouse… but it was awful. I will just hope that my windows desktop will last a long time now that I use it minimally.

        1. Android is about as badly optimized for desktop usage as legacy Windows desktop is for mobile devices… which is why Google was working on an optional desktop mode for Android…

          Something similar to the WebTop originally developed for the Motorola Atrix with laptop dock but based on Android instead of running a custom desktop Linux distro in emulation…

          However, it looks like Google opted instead to just enable Chrome to run Android apps for something that’s easier to use on a desktop or laptop form factor… Though, you still can’t run all android apps yet…

          While, docking a W8 tablet shouldn’t be so bad… an actual desktop mode helps and while these devices may be short on RAM and drive space, the performance is still good enough for basic desktop usage…

          After all, Bay Trail is 2x to 3x more powerful than the old Netbooks that could barely run Windows 7… Not enough for any serious productivity but enough that web browsing and other basic desktop tasks should be no problem…

          You can even run Adobe Photoshop for basic photo editing tasks without much trouble… And you can easily play most videos, you’d have to push the upper limits of bitrate for it to choke and even Blu Rays don’t push those limits… though, some anime mkv’s get pretty close but you usually won’t noticed the dropped frames as it usually keeps up…

          Just avoid devices that go down to 1GB of RAM as then they’re only really good for tablet usage then…

        2. That’s like saying you hate driving because you had a bad experience with go karts. LOL.

          1. I had a bad experience taking my go kart on the road… I will keep my car for driving on the road, and use the go kart for having fun around the neighborhood.

    4. I would use an 8″ Windows tablet but my requirements would result in a far more expensive device (ThinkPad 8 price or higher). If I see one come one, I’d definitely buy it.

      I do have an iPad Air. It’s not very useful to me. It also has out of memory issues (I guess 1 GB of RAM and 64-bit OS/apps don’t go well together). It’s mostly used to watch Amazon Prime videos while in bed on Sundays. I’m considering going through the hoops of getting Amazon videos on my phablet now that it’s available on Android.

  3. Will anyone really buy these 1gb RAM Win8.1 tabs? My Bay Trail 8.1 tablet does everything I need processor-wise… but I find it lacking for a lot of productivity at 2gb RAM. I can’t imagine using a tablet with 1GB of ram outside of doing one thing, one app, one window, one tab, at a time….

    1. Depends, if they can get away with mainly using WinRT/Metro/Modern UI apps then yes… as those require a lot less resources and are more ideal for tablet usages… Otherwise, many are probably going to wait and see what the Core M tablets will be like, even if they have to pay a higher premium… Since similar battery life, along with similarly thin and light tablet designs that still provide close to U-Series Core Chip performance could appeal to those who want a enough performance to be at least a little productive on the go…

      Though, MS helps the situation a bit as these new devices are also using the re-optimized version of Windows that have about half the system resource requirements compared to the original W8 release and thus one of these cheaper W8 tablets that still offer 2GB of RAM should have more free RAM available than the first gen device releases did and you can already get away with limited productivity on those…

      It’s mainly that they’re waiting on Braswell to come out, since Braswell will introduce all of the changes that will help device makers lower costs without cutting corners as they need to now, but Braswell won’t come out till the second half of 2015, mostly thanks to the delays in the 14nm FAB productions…

      While, the industry, as a whole, is also waiting for the later half of 2015 for other advances like the eventual switch between LP-DDR3 RAM to LP-DDR4 RAM, which will allow higher capacities to be offered in the same size chips that also use less power and thus higher capacities can be offered without significantly effecting battery life as they do now… along with faster eMMC and other improvements…

      So, continue to expect compromises until about the beginning of 2016 but by then even the ATOM should offer about as much performance as a first gen Core i5 and the integrated GPU performance should be multiple times better than it is now…

      Even Braswell should get a 2x to over 3x improvement with the switch to gen 8 GPU and two to four times the number of Execution Units in the GPU but still keeping it all in the same TDP and power consumption ranges for mobile SoCs… and Broxton should then more than double performance again…

      It just sucks having to wait but even ARM will be going a lengthy transition period over the next year or so…

    2. 1 GB of RAM for my iPad Air isn’t even enough which gets out of memory errors in the diagnostic logs. Apps either crash or in the case of browsers, they close background tabs resulting in needing to reload the pages.

    1. No, it can be expressed as either Wh or WHr… as either is valid for Watt-Hour… Not everything has only one way of being expressed!

      1. You are correct that not everything must only be expressed only one way, however, scientific notation and symbols are the very thing that must be expressed only one way.

        1. Only if there will be any confusion in expressing in more than one way but this is also language and if you look in most dictionaries you’ll see that both are valid in this case…

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